UTSUNOMIYA, TOCHIGI PREF. – A vending machine selling origami pieces created by residents with mental disabilities has been installed near the famed Toshogu Shrine in the popular tourist destination of Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture.
The unit, a former cigarette machine refurbished with colorful patterns, has proved to be a hit since it was introduced last October by an IT company hoping to set an example by employing people with disabilities in meaningful work.
“We hope it catches on as a Nikko tourist attraction in its own right,” Axis President Satoshi Waki, said. “From there, the idea could be picked up in other offices as a form of employment aid.”
Each box sold contains five pieces of origami — including a crane, a turnip and a ball — for ¥200. The pieces were quickly snapped up after the machine was installed, with customers buying more than 50 sets in the first few days, and …